Sunday, 8 February 2009

IMHRO condemning arrest of Sufi’s in Kish Island

Iranian Minorities’ Human Rights Organisation (IMHRO)



According to Radio Farda
[i] “The Iranian government arrested 3 men by the names of Reza Entesari, Mehran Assad poor and Abdulreza Godarzi, All belong to the Sufi Branch of Nimatullahi- Gonabadi in Kish Island”

“Some of them had already been summoned to the court but were arrested before the date of their appearance,” their lawyer, Mr Farshid Yad Allahi told Radio farad.

Last month they also arrested 8 other members of Namat Allahi Sufi in Kish Island and security forces have attacked their worship meetings in recent months.

A Sufi man from Kish Island told IMHRO “The situation in recent months worsens and in the cities of Kermanshah and Bushehr many Sufi leaders and followers are arrested and are put under pressure. The Iranian government always condemns Israel for demolishing homes in Palestine but the way in which they bulldoze our holy places is worse than what is happening in Palestine and elsewhere.”

Reza Washahi, a researcher on minorities in Iran, said that in Iran members of Sufi are considered infidels and are prevented from seeking jobs and not allowed to be members of the army. Lawyers could loose their practice licenses and university lecturers could quite easily loose their Jobs. Many are sentenced to prison or murdered and their cases are never properly investigated.

In recent years their places of worship have been attacked by government controlled crowds. The place of worship of Sufi (Khaneghah) in the cities of Karaj, Brojerd, Qum, and Ahwaz were destroyed by the government and in the case of Brojerd Khaneghah the place of worship was burned into ground.

According to the Amir Kabir web site
[ii] in mid 2008 three female school teachers, Lida Taban, Vida Taban and Faezeh Vahedi were fired from their jobs for practicing Sufism. Also the economist Bijan Bid Abad and Dr Nassir Ahmadi, a lecturer in the open university were expelled from the university”.

A law student, Mohammad Smaeil Salahi Firooz Abadi was expelled from the Open University in the city of Maibod as he practiced Sufism and objected to the treatment of Sufism in Iran. He was also arrested after security forces attacked his house and was sentenced to 1 year in prison”

IMHRO strongly condemns the treatment and discrimination against Sufi’s in Iran and is asking for the immediate release of those who have been arrested and all charges against them dropped.


Sufism is a free form of worship and mysticism started early in Islam based on the influence of Buddhism and Christianity and other ancient religions on Islam.
The word Sufi comes from the Arabic word Suf meaning wool as they used to wear wool cloth during the hot months of the year.

Quakers in Christianity and Kabbalah in Judaism are similar traditions.

The 5 main Branches of Sufism in Iran are Qadiriyyah, Nimatullahi or Nimatullahi- Gonabadi, Ali Allahi or Yâresân or Ahl-e Haqq, Naqshbandi and Nurbakhshi. The number of those who practice Sufi in Iran is estimated at about 1 million people. Most Sufis are live in the mid west, North West, south and south east of Iran.

The worship place of Sufi is called khaneghah and may also be called Dervish. Sufism criticises mainstream Sharia law and having pluralistic views. Sufi’s promote tolerance with other religions but they are not tolerated by the autocratic government of Iran.

Sufism, with all the restrictions placed on it over the centuries, has deeply affected the culture of the Middle East. To see samples of the style of worship visit:

Sufis are persecuted in Iran and in recent years pressure on them had increased.


Please write to one of the following and express your concern regarding of treatment of Sufis in Iran. Ask them to release the Sufi prisoners and allow them to worship freely.

Secretary General United Nations
The Honourable Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Headquarters,
Room S-3800,
New York, NY 10017,

Supreme Leader of Iran
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
E-mail via web site

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Ms. Navanethem (Navi) Pillay
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10,

Iranian President

Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
E-mail via web site

European Parliament Human Rights Committee
Bureau d'Hélène Flautre au Parlement Européen, 8G130, rue Wierz, B-1049, Bruxelles,

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave
South of Serah-e Jomhouri,
Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran





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